51 Writing Mistakes You Should Avoid: Mistakes in Dealing with Homophones

So far, we have covered…

The fourth lesson is about confusing words called ‘Homophones’, that sound similar but has different meanings, thus you need to use them carefully and at the correct place.

1. Loose vs. Lose

Widely prevalent mistake.
Drives writers crazy
Example: If your pants are too loose, you might lose your pants.
‘loose’ means free or movable
‘lose’ means miss
‘lose’ also means defeated.

2. Could of, Would of, Should of

Wrong Sentence
I should of gone to the baseball game, and I could of if Billy would of done his job.

Correct is –
I should have gone to the baseball game and could have if Billy had done his job.
Using contractions could’ve, should’ve, would’ve is right but inaudible when pronouncing.

Similar to homophones…
They could’ve, should’ve, would’ve are correct, but the ending of such contractions gets inaudible while speaking. This creates something like homophone.

3. Accept vs. except
Accept means to agree while taking something.
Example: “I always accept good advice.”
Except means to not include.
Example: “I teach every day except Sunday(s).”

4. Advice vs advise

Advice
Opinion somebody offers you in regard to what you should do or the way to act in any particular situation.
Example: “I need someone to give me some advice.”

Advise
suggests to provide information or recommend kinds of action
Example: “I advise everybody to be nice to their teacher.“
Noun ends in …ice while the verb ends in …ise.

5. Affect vs effect

Affect
verb (action)

Effect
noun (thing)

Going to do use “affect.“
already done use “effect.”
Example: The noise outside affected my performance.

Usually, after ‘effect’ comes “on” and we place article “an” or “the”.
Impacts someone or something.

Example: His smile had a strange effect on me.
The effect also suggests “end result”.

Example: The drug has many adverse side effects.

6. All right vs alright

All right
multiple meanings like ok, unhurt or acceptable.

Alright
never accepted in the form of standard usage.

7. A lot / alot / allot
A lot means numerous people or things.
Example: “I need a lot of time to develop this website.”
It also suggests very much and very often.
Example: “I look a lot like my sister.“

Alot
No such word in English.
Allot used for a share of anything for a specific purpose.
Example: “We were allotted a desk each.”

8. All ready vs already

All ready suggests “completely ready”.
Example: “Are you all ready for the test?“

Already suggests prior to the current time or before the expected time.
Example: “I asked him to come to the cinema but he’d already seen the film.”

9. Altogether vs all together

All together suggests “together in a single group.”
Example: The waiter asked if we were all together.

Altogether suggests “in total ” or “completely”.
Example: She wrote less and less often, and eventually she stopped altogether.
Homonyms

10. Alone / lonely

Alone suggests on your own or without other people
Example: “He likes living alone.”

Lonely suggests you are unhappy as you are not there with other people
Example: “The house feels lonely now that all the children have left home.“
If you’re alone, doesn’t indicate you’re lonely

11. Me, Myself, and I

A writer feels pain in making the choice of “me” and “I” .
Way out is removing the other person from your sentence.
Use the correct one.
Example: Never write “Give I a call,” or “Give Chris and I a call.” Instead, use me for proper framing.
“Myself” is just proper for two contexts, and these can be analyzed here –
Example: Many consider Chris a punk, but I myself tolerate him. Which brings me to ask myself, why?

12. Different than vs. Different from

Both are logically different from each other.
Using “than” after different is a grammatical blunder.
Example: This vase is different from the one I have, but I think mine is better than this one.

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